Ahead of the second Test of the four-match series against Pakistan, England all-rounder Ben Stokes has heaped praise on Yasir Shah by describing him as the best leg-spinner since Australian great Shane Warne.
Stokes’ comments came in the wake of Yasir’s magnificent performance during the visitors’ 75-run win in the opening Test at Lord’s.
The 30-year-old leggie returned to the figures of six for 72 and four for 69 across two innings as England struggled to build partnerships and were eventually bundled out for 207 on the fourth day while chasing a target of 283 runs.
The performance also saw Yasir surge into the top of the ICC Test bowler rankings ahead of England’s fast bowling pair of James Anderson (who missed the Test due to an injury) and Stuart Broad.
Yasir now holds a tally of 86 wickets from mere 13 Tests at an average of 23 in contrast to Warne’s record of 708 in 145 Tests at just over 25 apiece in a career that ended in 2007.
Stokes had no doubt about Yasir’s quality and, therefore, he called on the hosts to head into the second match with an aim to counter his attack, Sport24 reported.
The England southpaw, who is likely to make his return to Test cricket after a knee injury in May, admitted that his side could not afford to lose one more game, especially after knowing that they have been playing some really good cricket over the last two years.
Pakistan have now taken a 1-0 lead in the four-match series. The two sides will play their second Test at Old Trafford from Friday.